Obama: McCain responsible for economic woes


Sen. Barack Obama’s Campaign for Change stopped in Jacksonville Sept. 20 meeting approximately 12,000 screaming First Coast residents at Metro Park

Another 8,000 stood outside, listening the rally from the speakers, since the fire marshals capped the event and didn’t allow them into the park.

Obama’s campaign stop was less than a week after Sen. John McCain’s rally at the Veteran’s Memorial Arena, and a pair of banner-trailed airplanes circled the sky during most of the rally with slogans “Florida is McCain & Palin Country” and “Raising taxes is not patriotic.”

“Florida is always close,” Sen. Bill Nelson (D-Fla) said. “Who wins Florida is likely to
win the election. Northeast Florida is still in competition.”

The bulk of Obama’s speech focused on economic issues in wake of the Wall Street investment bank meltdown, and he said President George Bush and Sen. John McCain’s deregulation policies were responsible for the current economic problems.

“When you hear about McCain talking about taking on the old boy network, McCain calls it a staff meeting,” Obama said during the rally.

Obama also said McCain had several economic and personal ties to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, but said he has never accepted donations from
either corporation.

It’s unlawful for a candidate to accept corporate donations, but Obama received the second highest amount of donations from Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac employees, according to Federal Election Commission filings.

“The U.S. government is issuing treasury bills to buy bad mortgages,” Nelson said.

Rep. Barney Frank (D-Ma), Chairman of the House Financial Services Committee, said Sept. 18 in a Washington press conference that the government needed to buy up bad mortgages, which would clean the arteries of the market.

Nelson showed dissention in his comments concerning the bank bailout.

“Come [Sept. 23] we will know where all the Democrats stand on this issue,” Nelson said.

Obama said he would cut 95 percent of the working class’ taxes, which would be less than under the Reagan administration.

Obama also geared a portion of his speech toward America’s educational system.

He said he plans on recruiting an army of new teachers
with higher pay and a stronger workload.

Lavonda Lindsey, a senior education major at UNF was in attendance and supports Obama because of his policy.

“I’m a proud supporter of Barack Obama because of what he wants to do for teachers,” Lindsey said. “We have a lot of budget cuts and he wants to increase pay.”

Democratic speakers also brought up Obama’s healthcare initiative and promised to stop insurance companies from discriminating against the sick.

E-mail Jonathan Morales and James Cannon II at [email protected]